The Rights of Children within International Divorce Disputes Requires Greater Protection says the European Parliament

Published: 2nd February 2018

As the rates of both international divorces and cross-border child abductions increases within the EU, the European Parliament has called for an increased focus on the protection of children’s rights within international disputes of divorce. Members of the European Parliament are calling for experienced and practicing family law judges to play a key role in child abduction cases, as well as for children to be able to express their opinions within cases.

Protecting the Rights of Children

Members of the European Parliament are stating that the rights and best interest of children should become a much higher priority within the necessary proceedings, helping to make the process as easy as possible for all children involved. In regard to the suggestion of a child’s right to express their opinion, this would be done using a clear process that consists of an expert who is specially trained for such proceedings, with no pressure applied to the children involved.

The proposals were put to a vote within the European Parliament, with an overwhelming 562 votes to 16, in favour of forwarding the proposals to the council, which is responsible for making the final decision.

Children and Family Law in Brexit

As we discussed in a recent blog post about protecting children throughout Brexit, child experts in the UK are calling for the UK Government to provide complete protection to children during and after the Brexit negotiations. There are calls for the Government to put a suitable strategy in place for preserving data, intelligence and security, amongst other things, with an eye on protecting children.

Considering this alongside the proposals put forward by the European Parliament, it is clear to see that the protection of children and their rights is being considered at all levels of authority. This suggests that there may well be a large focus of family law during Brexit, but also once the Brexit process has been completed.

Important organisations within the family law sector, including Resolution, the Family Law Bar Association and the International Academy of Family Lawyers are suggesting that any lack of progress to the Brexit negotiations may leave families and children in an uncertain state. This could be further affected if the current family law agreement between the UK and EU member states are not continued following Brexit, especially as the level of assurance and protection necessary would not be applied in those circumstances.

The protection of families and children are one of the top priorities of many family law organisations and authorities, so it is likely that an agreement will be reached that will see provisions put into place to provide protection to children and families throughout the UK.

If you or your partner are in dispute about any child welfare or residency issue then K J Smith Solicitors can help. Our team of family law specialists have many years of experience in dealing with all matters relating to children with the utmost care and sensitivity.

For more information or to arrange a free 45 minute consultation, please contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield) or 01235 375500 (Abingdon).

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